Labyrinth Prayer Guide

"Labyrinths are understandable in so many ways. They are symbols, spiritual tools, mathematical images, harmonic patterns, pathways to discovery, playgrounds of prayer." ― Jill Kimberly Hartwell Geoffrion

Praying by walking a labyrinth is an ancient practice but that does not mean history is prescriptive about how Christians approach this time with God. The labyrinth can be a playground of prayer where we discover what God has for us this day. We offer you a guide for walking the labyrinth not to serve as rules but as scaffolding for those who wish to lean upon it. We do ask that you be mindful of those walking the labyrinth concurrently with you by honoring the silence and their space, simply slow down or step aside if your pacing leads to overlapping on the path. Allow any outside noises or general surprises to serve as reminders of God’s presence with all of creation rather than as distractions; all of life is prayer if we allow it.

A potential guide for walking the labyrinth:

  1. Preparation: This space has been prepared for you so not much is required of you. You are invited to take this opportunity to let go of personal distractions by turning off cell-phones and other devices. Consider offering a prayer to God articulating your hopes for this time together. "Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths." (Psalm 25:4)
  2. Entering – a time for releasing: The time for beginning. During this stage you walk the path toward the center, allowing yourself to acquire a relaxed, peaceful state. Release your concerns to God and allow the Spirit to quiet your mind.
  3. Illumination – a time for receiving: The time in the center. This is a time of openness and peacefulness, perhaps you stand with a strong, wide stance and open your palms beside you. This is a chance to pause and learn or receive what this unique moment offers. Take your time here. “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
  4. Union – a time for reviewing: The journey outward. You choose when to leave the center, following the same path. This is a time to review and consider what occurred in the center and how God’s loving presence may be carried with you into the world. What do you want to hold onto? What do you want to give to others you meet along the way?
  5. Implementation: This stage represents your life outside the labyrinth; the world where your experience or illumination is carried into and affects your everyday life. After completing the labyrinth take a moment to thank God for this time together and ask God to help you integrate today’s discoveries into your daily life.
“If you were to relax and trust the path you are on, what might you discover?”— Kaisa Stenberg-Lee

Finger Labyrinth

If walking the labyrinth is not possible or not comfortable for you at this time, feel free to take a seat on the perimeter and utilize this finger labyrinth by tracing the pattern inward toward the center – toward the heart of God – and then tracing outward – carrying God’s love into the world. If it’s helpful, utilize the guide provided above to frame your time in prayer.